Monday, November 26, 2007

Cashew Chicken

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I was reminded two days ago that real bloggers actually update their I took the opportunity to test out Rasa Malaysia's Kung Pao Chicken recipe that had me almost drooling onto my keyboard. For years, I've heard of Kung Pao chicken in Chinese-American restaurants and thought that it was a made up dish....kinda like Chop Suey. However, after reading RM's blog about cooking authentic Kung Pao Chicken, I realized, "Hey, my grandma makes this dish!" It was similar to a dish that my grandma calls Cashew Chicken and does NOT in the slightest bit resemble the Americanized version of Kung Pao Chicken.

The pleasant memories flooding my tastebuds prompted me to make this dish tonight. I adapted RM's recipe, substituting cashew nuts for peanuts, added sesame oil and oyster sauce to the dish. I also cheated on the steps and cooked it all at once instead of cooking the chicken and sauce in two steps and then combining them.

Cashew Chicken

5 pieces of boneless & skinless chicken thighs
1 large handful of roasted and salted cashew nuts
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 stalk diagonally sliced scallion

8-12 small dried red chillies
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 thumb sized knob of thinly julienned fresh ginger
1/2 of a small yellow onion, sliced

Chicken Marinade:
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoon ShaoXing wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Pinch of black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons water (depending on how thick or runny you'd like the sauce)
1 tablepoon corn starch
1 tablespoon ShaoXing wine

  1. Prepare marinade and sauce in separate containers.
  2. Clean chicken meat, pat dry and cut into 1cm cubes. Place in container with marinade and mix well. Set aside for 1/2 hr.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a large pan/wok on High setting until the oil is smoking. Add garlic and fry till golden brown.
  4. Add scallions, ginger, chilies, onions and cashew nuts to pan. Fry together until the aromatics are soft and fragrant.
  5. Add the chicken meat and cook until all of the pieces are cooked through
  6. Pour in the sauce and stir-fry until sauce thickens and coats the chicken pieces well.
  7. Add a pinch of sliced scallions "Emeril" style after plating for style and drama.
We ate it with steamed jasmine/long grain rice. It was GRREATTT!!!! The bf gave it two thumbs up :)